Third INSTO Insights Webinar: Measurement In The Field Of Water Management At Destination Level
Thursday, 23 February 2023 | 12:00pm – 1:15 pm CET | Zoom Session
Water is a key resource in tourism. Direct water use for services to tourists, such as showers, pool landscapes, water activities and culinary offers, can be significant. In this context, water consumption rates that indicate the total volume consumed and litres per tourist per day, are recommended indicators. They can be an important measure of physical carrying capacity, especially for water-scarce destinations, and can warn of potential limits or stress on the supply system. In addition, to relieve pressures on water supply and water systems conservation efforts can be measured, such as actions by the accommodation sector to reduce water consumption and to re-use recycled water (e.g. for irrigation purposes). Other indicators can include, inter alia, the measurement of water supply imported to the destination and total use by tourism as a percentage of all users. The drinking water quality in a destination, which is considered an important factor for the wellbeing of tourists, is an additional import dimension for monitoring. Indicators that look into the purity of drinking water supply, such as amount of tourism establishments with water treated to international potable standards, percentage of visitors reporting water-borne illnesses during their stay, and the perception of cleanliness of food and water are among some of the suggested indicators.
However, monitoring water management at the destination level remains a major challenge, as collecting information on water is often difficult and costly, quality can be lacking, and the issue is complex as it is related to many aspects such as climate change, agriculture, infrastructure, and others. This is relevant because sustainable water management is seen as central to building the resilience of destinations, their societies and ecosystems.
This INSTO Insights webinar discussed the experiences and insights of INSTO Members and experts on monitoring water management, which is one of the 11 mandatory key issue areas INSTO Members are committed to monitor. Experiences was shared on used indicators and various methodologies in this regard. The implications of these monitoring efforts in terms of informing policies and strategies was also discussed.